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Program Description

Low Residency MFA in Visual Studies logo

Rooted in critical investigation and self-disciplined creative practice, the Low-Residency MFA in Visual Studies program is ideal for students who seek the challenge and community of an immersive graduate program with a flexible structure.
This 60-credit program combines intensive graduate seminars with periods of mentor-based distance learning. For three consecutive summers, students gather in Portland to study with graduate faculty and an international roster of visiting artists, fostering dialogue and comradery while creating new work.
The program’s interdisciplinary emphasis spans studio and media artists, performers, and community practitioners. The nimble, independent model enables students to balance the demands of family and career while achieving a terminal degree.

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Life in the program

Thesis Exhibition

LRVS Thesis Exhibition

Fourteen30 Contemporary is pleased to showcase nine Thesis exhibitions of the Pacific Northwest College of Arts Low- Residency MFA in Visual Studies program. Presented as a series of solo exhibitions, each the duration of seven days, July 12 through September 12, 2020. Taking place during the global COVID-19 pandemic, as well as a national civil rights movement, the preceding exhibitions are an opportunity for nine burgeoning artists to be seen on a wider contemporary art platform.

"To Unravel", Natalie Laswell, 2020

LRVS Thesis Exhibition

Program Highlight

Visiting Artists, Curators, and Editors

Each week during the intensive a Visiting Artist or Scholar is hosted by the program introducing MFA students to the breadth of contemporary artistic, scholarly, philosophical and cultural voices. Each summer the Low-Residency MFA also hosts an Artist-in-Residence who works for an extended period within the program.

student work



International Studio Fellowship

The International Studio Fellowship is a unique and highly competitive merit award offered to one international student per year through the Low-Residency MFA in Visual Studies program. The fellowship will be announced to awardee at time of acceptance. For more information about the International Studio Fellowship please contact Ryan Pierce,

Merit Scholarships

Merit scholarships are assessed based on the student’s personal history of scholastic achievement, as well as their contributions to culture and community. Consideration will be given to traditionally underrepresented students and those who demonstrate financial need.


Fellowships are awarded to students with exceptional skills. For more information about Fellowships please contact Ryan Pierce,

Get in touch

For more information about the Low-Residency MFA in Visual Studies program, get in touch with Erin Dengerink:

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